Bow Tie Cinemas

Bow Tie Cinemas is an American movie theater chain, with 38 locations in Colorado, Connecticut, Maryland, New Jersey, New York, and Virginia.[1] As of 2013, it is the eighth-largest movie theater chain in the United States and is the oldest, having been founded in 1900.[2] Bow Tie Cinemas is family-owned and has been for four generations.

Bow Tie Cinemas, LLC
IndustryEntertainment (movie theaters)
Founded1900, New York City
HeadquartersRidgefield, Connecticut
Key people
B.S. Moss, Founder
Ben Moss
Charles B. Moss, Jr.
Joseph Masher (COO)
ProductsBow Tie Cinemas

The company was established by Benjamin S. Moss (1878 - 1951) who opened nickelodeon venues, then shifted to Vaudeville venues, before settling on movie theaters.


B.S. Moss immigrated to the U.S. from Austria in 1900. He opened venues for nickelodeons. He soon changed to operating venues for the Vaudeville circuit and also established a film production company. The film production company produced Margaret Sanger's film Birth Control which was banned from release in New York in 1915. B. S. Moss Motion Picture Company presented Three Weeks (1914) and produced One Day (1916), Boots and Saddles (1916), The Power of Evil (1916), and The Salamander (1916).

B. S. Moss Enterprises operated several movie theaters.[3] In 1910, Moss organized the syndicate that built the $100,000 Washington Theatre at Amsterdam Avenue and 149th Street, known as the first "real" movie palace in New York City.[4] Moss' Vaudeville theaters included Manhattan's Colony Theater, notable for being the venue of several high-profile Disney premieres including Fantasia and Steamboat Willie, the first Disney cartoon to feature Mickey Mouse.

The B. S. Moss Broadway Theater showing White Hands in 1922

In the 1930s, Moss decided to focus more on the movie business and phased out his vaudeville program. In 1936, he opened his Criterion Theater in Times Square, which lasted as a successful movie theater until 2000. Since then, Bow Tie Cinemas has continued to concentrate on the presentation of films.[5]

Bow Tie CinemasEdit

Bow Tie Cinemas in Reston Town Center, Reston, Virginia

The company changed its name to Bow Tie Cinemas in 2004, upon opening its Criterion Cinemas complex in Downtown New Haven, Connecticut. The name honors the company's flagship property, located where Broadway and 45th meet in Manhattan, known as the "Bow Tie" of Times Square.

Bow Tie operates many different types of theaters, from historic in-town cinemas to a 21-screen complex in Richmond, VA. The company's premium large format auditoriums are known as "BTX - Bow Tie X-Treme(R)".

Bow Tie has continued to grow and innovate. In 2017 the company debuted its new "Ultimate" locations in Norwalk, CT, featuring luxury electric recliner seating with in-theater restaurant and a full bar. Bow Tie Ultimate(TM) locations feature fresh baked artisan pizzas, and an array of dining options. Ultimate locations are now open in Norwalk, CT (Ultimate Royale 6 and Ultimate Regent 8); Trumbull, CT (Ultimate Marquis 16 & BTX); and Annapolis, MD (Ultimate Annapolis Mall 11 & BTX) and Stamford, CT (Ultimate Majestic 6 & BTX).

In spring 2022 five Connecticut Bow Tie theaters were sold to AMC Entertainment. These included two in Stamford, two in Norwalk, and one in Trumbull. They had previously closed three theaters, one each in Greenwich, New Canaan, and Wilton.

2013 acquisition of Clearview CinemasEdit

Clearview Cinemas was a movie theater chain within the New York metropolitan area founded in 1994. From 1998 to 2013, Clearview was a subsidiary of Cablevision. In 2013, Bow Tie Cinemas acquired forty-one Clearview theatres.[6] The forty-second location, the Ziegfeld Theatre in New York City, was retained by Cablevision, but Bow Tie continued to operate the theater until it was closed as a theater in 2016.[2]


  1. ^ "Theater Locations." Bow Tie Cinemas. N.p., n.d. Web. 05 Aug. 2014.
  2. ^ a b BLOOMBERG NEWS (April 29, 2013). "Bow Tie Cinema to buy theaters from Cablevision Systems". Newsday.
  3. ^ "Movie Theaters Previously Operated by B.S. Moss Enterprises - Cinema Treasures".
  4. ^ New York Times Obituary
  5. ^ "About Bow-Tie Cinemas." Bow Tie Cinemas. N.p., n.d. Web. 05 Aug. 2014.
  6. ^ Stein, Linda (May 17, 2013). "Bow Tie Cinemas new owners of Anthony Wayne, Bala theaters". Mainline Media News.